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Oral Microbiol Immunol. 1997 Oct;12(5):298-302.

Natural variation within the principal arginine-specific protease gene, prpR1, of Porphyromonas gingivalis.

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Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, United Kingdom.


RI, one of the major extracellular arginine-specific proteases of Porphyromonas gingivalis is a heterodimer composed of catalytic (alpha) and adhesin (beta) chains, encoded by the gene prpR1. The distribution of prpR1 and its variation within 43 isolates of P. gingivalis was determined. Chromosomal DNA was digested with Sma I and probed with a 32P-labeled DNA fragment from within the coding region for the alpha component of P. gingivalis W50. All isolates gave the expected 3.2 kb band, corresponding to the coding region for the alpha and beta components. The presence of a second locus (prR2) homologous to the alpha region of prpR1 was also detected. The 1.7-kb alpha coding region of prpR1 was amplified for subsequent restriction analysis. Following Taq I restriction all isolates gave identical patterns. With Rsa I, the majority of isolates (77%) could be placed into a single group. In conclusion, the prpR1 and prR2 loci are maintained in natural populations of P. gingivalis, and only minor polymorphism is detectable within the catalytic domain.

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